Tuesday, June 2, 2015

If I Could Offer You Only One Tip for the Future, Sunscreen Would Be It

By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy

“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they've faded but trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked”

I am sure I now have you singing this song in your head. If not, it is called Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen) by Baz Luhrmann. Google it if you don’t remember it – you will!

This song means more to me than it did when it came out. I was that girl that rarely wore sunscreen, didn’t care if my face, shoulders, legs, etc. got burnt. Sure, it didn’t feel great the next day, but the days following that I would turn tan. And unfortunately, sometimes I would peel but everyone peeled in the summer so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Now that I am a mommy, I would not let my children just bake in the sun like I did. I am more aware of the damaging effects of the sun and its UV rays, and I choose to always wear my sunscreen! Wearing sunscreen goes hand-in-hand with staying healthy, and as you probably know, the sun has short and long term damaging effects on our bodies. But getting my almost 3 year old to understand all of that and wear sunscreen is a different story. She just wants to play outside!

Last summer I used the spray kind of sunscreen on her. She was also a year younger and we know what a difference a year makes. But now that there are warnings about using the spray sunscreens, especially on children due to potentially breathing in the ingredients, I will have to make a switch to the regular lather on sunscreen.

But THIS year she is just squirmy, doesn’t want me to put ANYTHING on her and just RUNS away even when I try to grab her and cover her face and body. Sound like your kid too? I hope I am not alone here!

So what can I do to make sure I take care of her skin now and teach her the importance of being choosy with protecting her skin while in the sun?

  • Put a hat on her – She does like hats, so anything that has a wider brim to help cover her face and neck will help keep the sun away.
  • Wear swim shirts on her instead of just a regular swim suit – We have short and long sleeve swim shirts that have regular swim bottoms with them. The shirt helps cover her skin instead of leaving her shoulders, neck, arms and back exposed like a regular swim suit would.
  • Pay attention to time in the sun – I am not expert, but I know that even after an hour in the sun we are getting burnt. I will have to watch the clock closely this summer to make sure we are not out in the sun all day, especially if it is a day I can’t get her to wear sunscreen.
  • Check out these resources - Info from the CDC, KidsHealth.org, AboutKidsHealth.ca
What other advice do you have for me? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.
      
About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master and The Choosy Mommy for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy. Click here to learn more about Christine.

23 comments :

  1. I used to be the same way with going out in the sun to get burnt for the tan afterwards–yikes. Not anymore. Great reminder post, thanks!

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    1. I am sure every year that goes by, the damaging effects of the sun get worse too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I agree, I didn't think much of it until I had a little one. We use a cabana or umbrella too. It makes our spot seem like a fort and she actually asks to be under it!

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    1. That is a great idea! At least if the little on is under it for 10 minutes, that is 10 minutes less of exposure!!!

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  3. Haha I was just listening to the song of the fake Kurt Vonnegut graduation speech. Sunscreen & moisturizer. Just can't express enough how important those two things are.

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    1. Love it!! Yes, suuuuper important! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Very true. I live in South Florida and make sure to spray some every time I'm going to be exposed to the sun.

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    1. I'm sure people who live in warmer climates year round don't think they need to worry as much but I am sure it is quite the opposite. Keep on spraying!!!

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  5. I'm totally singing it right now. I MUST protect my fair skinned red heads. I love freckles, but I realize that the more freckles my kids have, the more their skin is being damaged. Trying to be more careful about it, even if it's such a pain to put on and wash off.

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    1. My cousins son is very light skin and red head and he always has a hat on and swim shirts. It is just not worth the risk because let's face it, sun burn hurts adults - imagine a toddler complaining about it!!!!

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  6. Great song! I know it is important to wear it now, even if I didn't wear it as much as I should have in the past.

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    1. I think as we get older we just become more educated which leads to wearing our sunscreen all the time!

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  7. When applying sunscreen slather it on so she looks like a snowman - like Olaf from Disney's Frozen.
    Sing a song by Olaf and do it to the music to make it a fun routine.
    Wait 15 minutes THEN rub any extra in, otherwise the only body part getting the benefits of the sunscreen is the palm of YOUR hand.

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    1. That is a great idea!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I'm so bad about this, I never wear sunscreen. I force my husband to, but he's outside all day long. Me on the other hand? If I'm out for long periods, I try to remember. I'm definitely going to sunscreen the crap out of our kids once we have them, though, I learned that from my friend getting burnt when we were kids.

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    1. My hubby never wears sunscreen!! I, on the other hand, make sure I always have it on and then I chase down my toddler :)

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  9. I really kick myself anytime I forget sunscreen for myself and my kids.

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    1. We've all been there. And then you stop somewhere and have to pay twice the amount!!

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  10. I used to never wear sunscreen. I am only in my early 30s but I already have a lot of visual sun damage... Now, I always wear sunscreen when I am going to be outside for a long period of time. I don't need my skin getting any worse!



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    1. I am sorry to hear about your skin :( but at least moving forward you are smarter and can protect what is not damaged. Prayers and good luck to you!

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  11. I need to be better about wearing sunscreen. Especially since I have had skin cancer.

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    1. I am so sorry to hear that. We only have 1 skin so it is important to protect it as well as we can.

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  12. I don't typically wear sunscreen, but after hearing all the horror stories of what the sun can do to you skin- I'm no longer skeptical about wearing it. In my opinion, a good sunscreen is best used on the face and neck even if you're going outside for short periods. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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